Category: News

Do you shower or bathe daily? If you do, you’re not alone. Approximately two-thirds of Americans shower daily. In Australia it’s over 80%. But in China, about half of people report bathing only twice a week. In the US, the daily shower tends to start around puberty and becomes lifelong. But have you ever stopped to ask yourself why? Perhaps your answer is: “because it’s healthier than showering less often.” Think again. For many — perhaps most — the daily shower is more about habit and societal norms than health. Perhaps that’s why the frequency of bathing or showering varies so much from country to country.

Are there reasons to shower every day?

Besides considering it healthier, people may choose to shower daily for a number of reasons, including:
  • concerns about body odor
  • help waking up
  • a morning routine that includes working out.
Each of these has merit, especially considering that personal or work relationships can be jeopardized by complaints about body odor or personal hygiene. But what is considered acceptable in this regard varies from culture to culture. And some (perhaps a lot) of what we do when it comes to cleaning habits is influenced heavily by marketing. Ever notice that directions on shampoo bottles often say “lather, rinse, repeat”? There is no compelling reason to wash your hair twice with each shower, but it does sell more shampoo if everyone follows these directions. When it comes to concerns about health, however, it’s not at all clear that a daily shower accomplishes much. In fact, a daily shower may even be bad for your health.

What are the health impacts of showering (or bathing) every day?

Normal, healthy skin maintains a layer of oil and a balance of “good” bacteria and other microorganisms. Washing and scrubbing removes these, especially if the water is hot. As a result:
  • Skin may become dry, irritated, or itchy.
  • Dry, cracked skin may allow bacteria and allergens to breach the barrier skin is supposed to provide, allowing skin infections and allergic reactions to occur.
  • Antibacterial soaps can actually kill off normal bacteria. This upsets the balance of microorganisms on the skin and encourages the emergence of hardier, less friendly organisms that are more resistant to antibiotics.
  • Our immune systems need a certain amount of stimulation by normal microorganisms, dirt, and other environmental exposures in order to create protective antibodies and “immune memory.” This is one reason why some pediatricians and dermatologists recommend against daily baths for kids. Frequent baths or showers throughout a lifetime may reduce the ability of the immune system to do its job.
And there could be other reasons to lose your enthusiasm for the daily shower: some people suggest that the water with which we clean ourselves may contain salts, heavy metals, chlorine, fluoride, pesticides, and other chemicals. These may cause problems, too.

The case for showering less

Over cleaning your body is probably not a compelling health issue. Yes, you could be making your skin drier than it would be with less frequent showering. This is not a public health menace. However, daily showers do not improve your health, could cause skin problems or other health issues — and, importantly, they waste a lot of water. Also, the oils, perfumes, and other additives in shampoos, conditioners, and soaps may cause problems of their own, such as allergic reactions (not to mention their cost). While there is no ideal frequency, experts suggest that showering several times per week is plenty for most people (unless you are grimy, sweaty, or have other reasons to shower more often). Short showers (lasting three or four minutes) with a focus on the armpits and groin may suffice. If you’re like me, it may be hard to imagine skipping the daily shower. But if you’re doing it for your health, it may be a habit worth breaking.
Robert H. Shmerling, MD Harvard Health Publishing JUNE 26, 2019 https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/showering-daily-is-it-necessary-2019062617193

With plenty of time and nowhere to go, I’m not sure if I should be showering constantly or not at all.

During quarantine, there are no rules. You can have a meeting with your coworkers while pantsless. You can eat a box of Cheez-Its for breakfast. You can recreate the entire theatrical production of Jesus Christ Superstar with cardboard puppets made out of said Cheez-It boxes. Basically, you don’t have to adhere to most of the usual societal norms that help convince people you’re a regular human. Showering is one of those norms. 

Right now, no one is gonna make you shower. And if you’re not exercising or going outside, you might find that you don’t need to shower as often as you might have before the coronavirus pandemic. Then again, what else is there to do? At least showering is a constructive activity that tricks us into a fleeting sense of normalcy. 

I, for one, am showering more often than usual. Not only do I have time for quick exercise videos on YouTube, but I also have time in the shower to shave my legs, exfoliate, deep condition my hair and whatever other more luxurious steps I might skip in my ordinarily utilitarian cleansing routine. Turns out showering is kind of nice when you’ve got nowhere to be! 

But that’s all just for fun. Is there any practical reasoning to determine the right number of showers to be taking right now? I’m supposed to be washing my hands more often –– does that same rule apply to my extended body?

First things first, you can’t get coronavirus if you (and those who live with you) aren’t going outside. Plain and simple. Showering is optional in that regard. If you have to leave your home, that changes things a bit. According to the World Health Organization, hot showers or baths won’t do anything to help prevent you from getting COVID-19 — there’s been some speculation that hot showers boost immunity or raise your body temperature in a way that kills bacteria, but that’s not true, so there’s no coronavirus-related need to shower before leaving the home. 

Showering when you get home, however, is a good idea. Showering with soap and water will remove the bacteria from your skin in the same way washing your hands would. The virus can only be transmitted via your eyes, nose and mouth — you won’t get sick if, say, your knee touches a surface with the virus on it. But if you touch your knee and then touch your nose, you might get sick. Regardless of whether or not you’re a pro at not touching your face, you probably just don’t want any chance of carrying the virus around, and getting all soapy will help prevent that. MIT Technology Review recommends that you rinse off after every outing, and ditto for your kids. They also recommend washing your clothes or leaving coats and shoes out in the sun after every outing, too. 

But what about showering for other aspects of your health? Showering too often, especially with strong soaps and hot water, can dry out your skin. Not only can dry skin be painful and itchy, it can also trigger flare-ups of skin conditions like psoriasis or eczema. Not showering enough can have similar effects and lead to ailments like dermatitis neglecta, caused by a buildup of dead skin cells. This typically takes more than a week of not bathing, though. It’s ultimately up to you (and perhaps those you share space with) how often you should shower to keep your skin comfortable — this is usually somewhere between once a day to two or three times a week. It’s really a matter of preference and how active you are: If you feel the need to shower multiple times a day, that’s on you. The more often you shower, though, the shorter and less hot they should be for the sake of your skin. 

But if there were ever a time to experiment with getting that water bill down, it’s now. You might even find that your hair and skin look better with fewer showers. Remember, no one can smell you through a webcam.

By Danielle Dresden
https://melmagazine.com/en-us/story/how-often-should-you-shower-coronavirus-quarantine

PULSE ShowerSpas will be at KBIS 2020. The Kitchen & Bath Industry Show (KBIS) is North America’s largest trade show dedicated to all aspects of kitchen and bath design. With the expansive show floor filled with the freshest designs from over 600 leading brands, it is a one-stop shop providing attendees and exhibitors the ultimate destination to network, exchange ideas and build their businesses.

Where: Las Vegas Convention Center, Nevada
When: January 21-23, 2020
Booth #SL3420

Check out the show’s page: https://www.kbis.com

What does GPM mean and why is it important to your daily shower? Believe it or not, it’s the law! Your shower head is covered by federal and possibly local regulations.

What is GPM?

GPM means Gallons Per Minute. Also known as “flow rate”, GPM is a measure of how many gallons of water flow out of your shower head each minute.

Since 1992, a maximum of 2.5 GPM is the federally mandated flow rate for new shower heads. This means no more than 2.5 gallons of water should flow out each minute.

The GPM flow rate for shower heads has decreased over time. If your current shower head was made in the 1980’s or 1990’s, its flow rate could be 3.5 GPM or more!

Shower Flow Restrictions over the decades

Why is shower head GPM or flow rate important?

Federal, state, and local governments regulate shower head GPM flow rates, because the potential for water and energy savings are significant. A standard 2.5 GPM shower headuses 2.5 gallons of water each minute. That’s 25 gallons for a 10-minute shower.

VS. A low-flow 2.0 GPM shower headuses 2.0 gallons of water each minute. That’s only 20 gallons for a 10-minute shower.

If everyone in the U.S. installed 2.0 GPM shower heads, the EPA estimates annual savings of:

  • 260 billion gallons of water
  • $2.2 billion in water utility bills
  • $2.6 billion in energy costs for heating water

That’s a lot of billions!


How do local governments regulate shower heads?

To conserve resources and save money, some state and local governments mandate even lower GPM flow rates than the federal regulation.

Shower Flow Regulations differ by location
  • New York City adopted a 2.0 GPM standard in 2010
  • California and Colorado adopted a 2.0 GPM standard in 2016
  • California will move to a 1.8 GPM standard in July 2018

And many communities offer incentives and rebates to residents who voluntarily install low-flow shower heads.

Source: https://www.waterpik.com/shower-head/blog/shower-head-gpm/

December 27, 2017

PULSE ShowerSpas will be at KBIS 2019. The Kitchen & Bath Industry Show (KBIS) is North America’s largest trade show dedicated to all aspects of kitchen and bath design. With the expansive show floor filled with the freshest designs from over 600 leading brands, it is a one-stop shop providing attendees and exhibitors the ultimate destination to network, exchange ideas and build their businesses.  
Where: Las Vegas Convention Center, Nevada
When: February 19-21, 2019
Booth #SL3420
Check out the show’s page: https://www.kbis.com

  • Describe your business in one sentence.
Pulse ShowerSpas prides itself on being one of the leading manufacturers in decorative plumbing, specializing in shower panels and shower systems.  
  • How has your company evolved over the years?
Pulse ShowerSpas continues to evolve by constantly improving product designs, enhancing product finishes and introducing new product lines in its 15 years. Ongoing studies and analysis of market needs has helped position Pulse to be one on of the most innovative shower fixture manufactures in the market. The implementation of launching new products and diverse lines has solidified Pulse’s position in the decorative plumbing industry.  
  • How important is customization? How has it enhanced your products or relationships with clients?
Customization in this day and age is a huge part of creating the connection with your end customer. In today’s world everyone is looking for something unique that meets their needs. I always say, PULSE is small enough to create a unique product, develop a private label, design and manufacture an exclusive product, but most importantly big enough to actually make it happen.  
  • What do you have planned for the upcoming year?
The natural evolution for PULSE is to keep growing the line into other bathroom fixtures such as freestanding tubs and tub fillers, safety bars for the growing aging in place market and also bathroom faucets. Part of these products are already a reality for PULSE but we have much more coming real soon.  
  • Tell us about new products/innovations you’re introducing.
One of our focuses right now is developing products that are water saving. PULSE is located in California where water conservation is an instrumental part of our everyday life. The re-engineering of our body jets and fixtures have given PULSE the advantage of keeping our shower panels as an option for areas where low GPM are enforced. We have also developed LED temperature readers that do not need batteries or electricity to function. They are completely water power generated and are available in our line.  
  • What is your company’s process for creating new products?
The first step is to always listen. We listen to customers, our builders, our contractors and our team members. Once we have established a clear idea of what people are looking for in their shower experience, we begin to sketching some ideas and create the 3D files. This part is all done in-house, right here in California. Once we’ve created the 3D files we meet with our engineers at our manufacturing facility in China and finalize all the details. Being open to new concepts and trends is most important through this entire process.
Read the online magazine in the following link: http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/hd/201809/index.php#/0 
(PULSE is on page 98-99)

Geert A. Buijze and his colleagues asked 3,000 volunteers in the Netherlands to finish their morning showers with a 30-, 60-, or 90-second blast of cold water, or to shower as they usually did, for 30 consecutive days. Then the researchers looked at the work attendance records of the same people over that period. On average, in all the groups that doused themselves with cold water, people were absent 29% fewer days than people in the control group. The researchers’ conclusion: Cold showers lead to fewer sick days.

Dr. Buijze, defend your research.

Buijze: This is the first high-level evidence showing that cold showers can benefit your health. People who took them for at least 30 seconds for one month called in sick 29% less than our control group — and 54% less if they also engaged in regular physical exercise.
HBR: But why would cold showers make us less sick?
This is a subtle but important point: Participants who took the cold showers actually reported feeling ill just as many days, on average, as the people who showered normally. But either their symptoms were less severe or they felt more energetic, so they were better able to push through the sickness and function anyway. The exact effect on the immune system is unclear, but we do have some knowledge of the pathway through which it works. Cold temperatures make you shiver — an autonomous response to keep your body temperature up. It involves a neuroendocrine effect and triggers our fight-or-flight response, causing hormones like cortisol to increase, shortly before we shift to a relaxation response. Moreover, cold temperatures activate the brown — or good — fat in the body.
What effect does that have?
Brown fat doesn’t have any proven connection to immunity, but it does affect the body’s thermoregulation. When activated, it keeps the body warm by burning calories. It may also increase your energy and metabolism and help control your blood sugar. That could reduce your risk of obesity and diabetes.

Cold temperatures trigger a fight-or-flight response.

Couldn’t the cold showers just be producing a placebo effect, though? People feel tougher after starting the day shivering?
We can’t rule that out, but even if this is merely a psychological phenomenon, that would be OK with me. The placebo effect has a negative reputation in medicine, but in life and health sciences, any salutary effect achieved by natural means, rather than a pill, is something to strive for. Placebos rely on neurobiologic pathways, too.
But what about so-called presenteeism? Shouldn’t people who feel ill stay out of the office?
Not necessarily, especially if their symptoms aren’t bad. Most of us will try to work through a common cold, for example. But we should take the necessary hygienic precautions — washing our hands, covering our mouths when we cough — to protect colleagues from pathogens.
Why study cold showers instead of a more obvious health booster like exercise or diet?
Previous studies have shown that physical exercise can strengthen the immune system, but I’m not aware of consistent evidence showing that any other daily rituals or habits do. Research on dietary supplements, for example, has yielded conflicting results. And while malnutrition can compromise your immune system, proof that superfoods boost it has been elusive.
Cold showers interested us because there have been numerous claims — throughout history and across cultures — about their beneficial effects. Hippocrates, the father of medicine, prescribed cold baths for his patients. In ancient Roman times, one ritual involved moving through several rooms with increasing temperatures, then ending with a plunge in a cold pool — hence the Latin term frigidarium. You still see practices like this in spas around the world. Athletes take ice baths to reduce local inflammation and soreness and improve injury recovery times.

Two-thirds of the people who took cold showers continued them after the study.

We also took inspiration from the Dutch Iceman — Wim Hof, this guy who’s become famous in the Netherlands for using gradual exposure to the cold and breathing exercises to train his body to withstand freezing temperatures for up to two hours, and who has taught others to do the same. A recent study even showed that healthy adults can use those techniques to modulate their immune response when injected with a pathogen, leading to fewer and less severe symptoms. I was approached about coauthoring a book on cold showers — the writer wanted a medical expert on board — but I told him that I wanted to investigate their effect instead.
So how cold is cold?
We instructed our study participants to shower as they normally did — as hot as they wanted, for as long as they wanted — then to make the water as cold as possible for the prescribed amount of time. This took place in the Netherlands during the winter months, from January 1 to April 1, when the groundwater in homes’ wells was roughly between 10 and 12 degrees Celsius — which is really cold. It was a miracle that we had more than 4,000 volunteers, about 3,000 of which we enrolled.

The duration of the cold shower didn’t make a difference.

Were these people masochists? Or cold shower aficionados?
Obviously, you can’t do a study on cold showers with people who would never consider taking one. But none of our participants had taken them regularly before. They were a mixed group of healthy adults, with no severe heart or respiratory problems. Some of them were probably inspired by the Iceman stories. Many told us they were afraid the experiment would make them miserable, and in the beginning it did. The vast majority found it uncomfortable, and some hated it, so they needed resilience to get through the month. As time went on, though, people started adapting and feeling less bothered. And when we asked if they would keep taking cold showers after the month ended, 91% said yes, and two-thirds did continue them. That, to me, is the most indicative sign of a beneficial effect — whether physiological or psychological. Taking a freezing cold shower is not something you do for pleasure.
And 90 seconds of cold didn’t produce a stronger effect than 30?
No, duration didn’t matter. The reduction in sick days was the same across the 30-, 60-, and 90-second groups. It’s possible you could do less than 30 seconds, but for now we know that’s enough.
Were there any benefits beyond fewer sick days?
Productivity while at work was the same regardless of cold showers or none, although theoretically the cold shower people were cumulatively more productive over the study period, since they were absent less often. And though we saw an early improvement in self-reported quality of life for that group, that effect disappeared over time.
Is it possible the sick-day effect would go away over time, too?
Maybe. But I think that even if you became habituated to the cold water, so you felt less discomfort and shivered less, the neurobiologic effect would remain. Could I achieve the same result by moving to Newfoundland? I think not, because we modify our behavior to fit the climate around us. If you’re living in Canada with regular temperatures of minus 20 degrees Celsius, you heat your house, car, and office, and when you’re outside you layer up so your body stays at 37 degrees Celsius. Perhaps if you exposed yourself to the cold and created the same shivering effect, it would help, but we don’t yet have any data to support that hypothesis.
At what temperature do you shower?
My preferred style is like that of James Bond in Ian Fleming’s novels. I alternate temperatures, starting with a steaming hot shower and shifting straight to freezing cold.
Have you noticed any changes since you started this regimen?
My experiences have been comparable with those of the participants. Once you adapt and get resilient, it becomes an addictive energetic morning challenge. Whether you feel ill or healthy, a cold shower kick-starts the day!
By Alison Beard
FROM THE MARCH–APRIL 2018 ISSUE
https://hbr.org/2018/03/cold-showers-lead-to-fewer-sick-days

What does GPM mean and why is it important to your daily shower? Believe it or not, it’s the law! Your shower head is covered by federal and possibly local regulations.

What is GPM?

GPM means Gallons Per Minute. Also known as “flow rate”, GPM is a measure of how many gallons of water flow out of your shower head each minute. Since 1992, a maximum of 2.5 GPM is the federally mandated flow rate for new shower heads. This means no more than 2.5 gallons of water should flow out each minute. The GPM flow rate for shower heads has decreased over time. If your current shower head was made in the 1980’s or 1990’s, its flow rate could be 3.5 GPM or more!
Shower Flow Restrictions over the decades

Why is shower head GPM or flow rate important?

Federal, state, and local governments regulate shower head GPM flow rates, because the potential for water and energy savings are significant.
A standard 2.5 GPM shower headuses 2.5 gallons of water each minute. That’s 25 gallons for a 10-minute shower.

VS.

A low-flow 2.0 GPM shower headuses 2.0 gallons of water each minute. That’s only 20 gallons for a 10-minute shower.
  If everyone in the U.S. installed 2.0 GPM shower heads, the EPA estimates annual savings of:
  • 260 billion gallons of water
  • $2.2 billion in water utility bills
  • $2.6 billion in energy costs for heating water
That’s a lot of billions!

How do local governments regulate shower heads?

To conserve resources and save money, some state and local governments mandate even lower GPM flow rates than the federal regulation.
Shower Flow Regulations differ by location
  • New York City adopted a 2.0 GPM standard in 2010
  • California and Colorado adopted a 2.0 GPM standard in 2016
  • California will move to a 1.8 GPM standard in July 2018
And many communities offer incentives and rebates to residents who voluntarily install low-flow shower heads.
Source: https://www.waterpik.com/shower-head/blog/shower-head-gpm/
December 27, 2017